Tell EPA to Regulate Existing Power Plants
Please send a letter to the EPA demanding that they start regulating existing power plants.
In 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for most new fossil fuel power plants. For the 22 new power plants about to be built in in the United States, the proposed regulations will reduce carbon pollution by more than 123 billion pounds annually. EPA is set to approve these regulations this spring
Unfortunately, these regulations do not extend to existing power plants.
However, under a framework in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the regulations for newly constructed power plants trigger a requirement for EPA to propose regulations requiring states to develop emission standards for existing sources of GHG pollution.
By utilizing this Clean Air Act mandate, the EPA can work with states to reduce their carbon emissions and create cost-effective compliance plans catered to each state’s specific needs. But currently, the EPA has no plans to require states to fully comply with Section 111(d); instead, they are letting existing power plants emit trillions of pounds of pollution.
The United States is the second highest carbon pollution emitter in the world, trailing only China. Since the Industrial Revolution, no other country has contributed more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than the U.S. Rising sea levels, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, and changing weather patterns are only some of the monumental threats climate change poses if emissions are left unchecked.
Roughly 40% of the total carbon pollution emissions in the United States come from fossil-fuel fired power plants. These plants emit approximately 4.8 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide every year, which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined.
As we stare down the barrel of permanent climate change, it is imperative that we act now to reduce the biggest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.